A high-level team from the Guyana Power and Light told residents of Columbia, Mahaicony that they will soon benefit from an improved quality of electricity when the company commissions a new substation in the community.
According to a Government Information Agency (GINA) report, GPL CEO Bharat Dindyal told residents at a meeting held at the Fairfield Community Centre on Tuesday, that the investment had been planned for some time and the company was eager to link the Berbice and Georgetown power supply system.
“After 30 years of waiting we can now say we are commissioning a facility which would transform the quality and reliability of power that we will offer,” he said. Dindyal then thanked the residents for their patience as over the years they would have experienced a number of electricity-related challenges such as low voltage and power outages.
With the commissioning of the new substation, West Berbice communities will have a two-way supply of electricity in the event that one shuts down. “West Berbice can have power from East Berbice or Georgetown, and so in the past when you would have been subjected to problems from Onverwagt, and supply being interrupted, with this new substation, you can get power from Demerara,” he said.
Residents can then make use of electrical appliances without fear of them being damaged from voltage fluctuations. Dindyal explained that the electricity supply that will be fed into the communities will be carefully monitored at all times by the new control centre in Sophia.
The CEO also spoke of the impact electricity theft has had on the company, noting that a recent study found that in some communities 63% of the power supplied is unaccounted for. As such, more focus will be put on loss reduction and to combat electricity theft using state-of-the-art mechanisms.
According to GINA, Columbia is one of seven new substations. The other six are located in South backlands, New Sophia (Liliendaal), Good Hope, ECD, Vreed-en-Hoop, Edinburgh and Golden Grove. These were all constructed under the US$42.8M Infrastructure Develop-ment Project that also caters for the upgrade of three existing substations and expansion: Onverwagt, Sophia and Canefield, approximately 96 kilometres of 69 KV overhead transmission lines, and the construction of a fibre optic network linking all the substations to a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system in Sophia.